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YMMV / Game Of Thrones S 8 E 1 Winterfell

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Arya's conversation with Jon, and specially how it ends with Arya telling Jon not to forget that they're family. Williams's delivery is ambiguous enough that many people have interpreted that she's actually issuing Jon a warning about what side should he be on, while others have interpreted that she's only reassuring him that they will stand by him and protecting him. Jon's reaction to Arya's line as they hug is likewise rife with possible interpretations: Did he take it as a threat and is worried about his family turning on him? Is he having second thoughts about whether Daenerys might be using him and his sisters might be onto something? Etc.
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    • When Daenerys tells Jon that she's their queen and, specifically, how she says that "if [Sansa] can't respect me..." Many people wonder how she meant to finish the sentence before she was interrupted, with some arguing that she only intends to impose her authority to Sansa, and correct her for her insubordination, while others point out how the next time she has a prominent scene with someone else, is to tell Sam how she had his family executed for not bending the knee.
    • When Sam says that Jon is the one who should be sitting on the Iron Throne, is he speaking from a legal perspective or from a personal one? He does have a pretty clear bias as Daenerys did just admit she executed his family while Jon is his best friend, and setting Jon against Daenerys is the only avenue of revenge he has available to him. On the other hand, Sam does have a point in saying that Jon would make a good king because he doesn't want a crown but has been able to handle authority even-handedly regardless, and he also notes that there's no way that Daenerys would give up the crown for the sake of the people, unlike Jon, and not even Jon himself can disagree with that.
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    • Does Tyrion truly believe Cersei would come and help out the North against the Night King or is he purposefully lying or otherwise withholding information? Considering Tyrion is typically a relatively savvy character who reads into other people well, especially his own family, there seems little reason why he'd believe Cersei.
  • Arc Fatigue: If you were annoyed at the Sansa/Arya conflict in Season 7 (commonly called Mean Girls of Winterfell), seeing it as a petty and boring Conflict Ball between two of the main female characters to fill time, and you were glad when it was resolved, don’t celebrate too soon, because here comes Daenerys to rev it right back up again with Sansa, for petty reasons at that.
  • Ass Pull:
    • In the previous episode, Theon was under the impression Euron was going back to the Iron Islands. Here, however, he somehow knows to go after Euron's fleet at King's Landing without explanation and pulls it off without a single hitch.
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    • The fact that only Targaryens can ride dragons is standard knowledge in-universe, yet Dany puts Jon up to it on a whim with a blunt, "Go on," and Jon only has difficulty with Dany's No OSHA Compliance riding style (in contrast to her ancestors' saddles and chains per the "Histories and Lore" featurettes). The show-runners even acknowledge the Only Targaryens rule in their "Inside the Episode" and call Jon a slow learner for not realizing the implications, but don't explain why Dany would randomly expect Jon to be able to do it other than to move the plot along.
  • Author's Saving Throw: After the poor reception to Ed Sheeran's extended cameo in last season's premiere, the creators made Rob McElhenney and Martin Starr's appearances in this episode much more brief and subtle.
  • Catharsis Factor: Bran being the one to greet Jaime, aka the man who crippled him and started the feud between the Lannisters and the Starks in the first place, is delicious Laser-Guided Karma. If Jaime has truly pulled a Heel–Face Turn, he needs to face the consequences of his actions, including when he pushed a child out of a window to save his own skin.
  • Character Shilling: Arya telling Jon that Sansa is "the smartest person I've met" comes across as this. Sansa may have survived until now and isn't liable to trust Cersei, but a lot of the audience has taken issue with her so-called intelligence over the past two seasons (especially her actions at the Battle of the Bastards). And as noted on this page, whilst she has some minor valid points in the episode, her reaction to Daenerys' arrival and aid really isn't so intelligent given it's the only chance she and the North have to survive. Furthermore, whilst we don't know what Tyrion's reasons are, the only way that Sansa comes across as the smarter one is because Tyrion's badass intellect has taken a hit the past season for unknown reasons.
  • Fetish Retardant: The scene with Bronn and the three prostitutes. Aside from Qyburn interrupting him, the prostitutes are so disinterested in him and mechanical about it that even Bronn gets annoyed. This is an Intended Audience Reaction since the ladies talk about the burn marks on Lannister soldiers in the Dragon attack, with graphic descriptions of their wounds, which weirds out Bronn, and then Qyburn comes in and casually says that one of them has an STD, making Bronn snap in shock.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Cersei asking about, and being disappointed in, her not getting war elephants.
    • The scene where Jon and Daenerys ride Rhaegal and Drogon has been compared to the How to Train Your Dragon series.
    • The fickleness and short-sightedness of the Northmen has been played up, especially Lord Glover (who has the dishonorable distinction of abandoning House Stark both during the Battle of the Bastards and the upcoming Great War).
  • Memetic Troll: Bran spending the entire episode sitting in the Winterfell courtyard waiting for Jaime Lannister's arrival quickly led to an explosion of memes over social media.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Jon, and to an extent Bran (Though Brans overall sanity is questionable) point out constantly that everyone seems to forget the impending 100,000 strong army of dead men marching south toward them. They really don't have time to mess around with who has what title or formal pleasantries it is REALLY not that important in the grand scheme of things at the moment.
    • Sansa Stark is, like most of the Northern lords, distrustful of their new allies but she at least come up with a couple of reasonable arguments: the remaining food supplies in the North are not enough to feed Daenerys's army, and she rightfully doesn't trust that Cersei will keep her word and send the Lannister army to help them (in stark contrast of what Tyrion believes).
  • Self-Deprecation: Sansa's comment to Tyrion: "I used to think you were the cleverest man alive" could be this in regard to how many fans perceived that Tyrion had undergone a Badass Decay and made several questionable actions in the past couple seasons.
  • Special Effect Failure: Some of the aerial shots of the dragons flying over Winterfell appear particularly sub-par, almost looking like rear-projection 70s-era technology.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Most of the Northern Lords' complaints of Jon relinquishing the title King of the North run quite hollow considering they stayed out of the "Battle Of The Bastards", rather than fight alongside Jon Snow when he fought to reclaim Winterfell and (attempted) to rescue Rickon Stark, with those Lords only aligning with Jon after Ramsay Bolton was defeated, when they agreed to give him the King of the North title.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • You'd expect that Sansa would treat Dany with some respect, considering that she's brought everything she has to help save the North from the Zombie Apocalypse and the logistic situation would be identical if Jon hadn't bent the knee and Dany was just an ally. Dany and Sansa also have a lot in common, particularly a history of Forced Marriage and Marital Rape License. Instead, the women are at each other's throats because each slights the other. Likewise, while Dany does make an initial effort to be nice and friendly to Sansa, she takes Sansa's cold rebuff far more personally than she should have considering that she herself admitted to Jon in Season 7 that she expected resistance from the North.
    • Lord Glover is apparently so pissed about Jon bending the knee to Dany that he intends to stand alone against the Zombie Apocalypse instead. Skewed Priorities hardly begins to cover it since he stands zero chance on his own if all the armies at Winterfell are annihilated by the Army of the Dead.
    • In the event that Tyrion is honest about his belief in Cersei's willingness to actually aid the North in their decisive battle against the Night King, he qualifies. Sansa even calls him out on it.
    • Sam breaks the news about Jon's parentage to him. While he does state that Jon isn't a bastard and is instead the rightful king, he fails to explain both that Rhaegar and Lyanna were in love, and that he married her after having his marriage to Elia of Dorne annulled. For all Jon knows, he's still a bastard and a Child by Rape to boot.